Monday, February 25, 2008


While I agree with Lance Strate on the electronic place speeding up human concepts of time, "cybertime" exists in the same world in which humans live. In other words, I wake up in the morning, 9 A.M. EST and log into google to check the daily news. At that very moment, it is 9 P.M. elsewhere and some Chinese family has just finished dinner and logs in to hear their favorite internet radio broadcast or log in to chat with friends. Their cyber experience will always exist within the actual world. All computers have a clock in the corner of the screen, grounding the cybertime in real time. After I finish this blog, as soon as I "publish" the post that time will forever be attached to this writing.

The speed of the internet and the conception of the nanosecond is for the most part unexplored by common internet users, and for good reason. Not only are they too technical and impractical to deal with, but the speed of the process of the internet is cool but not pertinent to accessing information. The time it takes to type the web address and the time it takes to load a webpage is the speed of the internet. Although thinking about binary code does kinda flip your mind: zero zero zero zero zero zero one zero zero zero zero zero one one zero zero zero zero one one one zero zero zero one one one one (Flight of the Concords "The humans are dead" reference; if you haven't seen yourself a favor)

The synchronization that occurs from the world clock and the Western idea of time has pushed industrialization to create and influenced mankind to imagine things like the printing press, telegraph, telephone, computer and the internet. The speed and magnitude of information one the internet creates a flowing, streaming fountain of knowledge, automatically updated and covering the entire globe. When Lance discusses Experiencing Time: Computing as Activity and Event, he cites video games and virtual reality as a way to "lose yourself" in cybertime and spend hours on end staring at a screen. Many of my friends comment on how easy it is to spend hours looking through facebook or "surfing" the web. Is this different from the intoxication glow of the Television screen? or the digital IMAX that has pushed the limit of quality movie projection? I think the reason the internet is different is because the information is pertinent and customized to the users wants as well as the endless web of sites that would take an eternity to fully explore.

There are still concepts of past, present and future on the internet. One thing teachers have been telling me since high school is always "know when something is written". Even more so on the internet, it is important to understand source reliability as well as the timetable of events surrounding the information. In this way, I think cybertime cannot be seen as religious in any humanly spiritual way; it turns us all into gods of our domain. Whenever we want to log on, any information you want to access is at our fingertips, creating what Strate calls "dream-self doubles...masters of cybertime". The "more integrated, metadimensional sense of self" is the future of human interaction with information, education and each other. The global network and McLuhan's "tribal village" is very real and connects the whole world instantaneously to information with unlimited potential for growth.........given time.................and space (The internet is running out of room, btw)


Lance Strate said...

Just to note that part of what I was saying is that the new concepts of time don't erase the old ones, just break their monopoly, so that rather than one homogeneous conception, there are multiple, heterogeneous concepts co-existing.

As for losing your sense of time with other media, I agree that you can waste a great deal of time, but television is still scheduled by the clock, and you don't quite lose your grip on time's passage. On the computer, videogames, and the like, what is new is that sense of shock we sometimes experience because we have become so thoroughly absorbed that we have absolutely no sense of time's passage.

Jimmy Page said...

"There are still concepts of the past, present, and future on the internet."

Where Lance comments that his his concept of this new idea of cybertime does not erase the old concept of time,it "..breaks thier monopoly," I again disagree with Lance and partially disagree with Luke. When the concept of time was invented (even the ancient sun dials), the world was oficially put on the clock. We began to see the everything within the context of how long a year, month, day, etc is. No matter how fast the internet becomes it will not supercede the boundries of time that have been invented by the clock. The internet will allow us to research information faster, easier, and for all intensive purposes better. I think the internet helps us to be more productive with the time that we have, rather than making this time faster or more comprehensive. Sorry Lance, I do like your arguments, I just dont fully agree with them.